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Freethought Today · April 2016

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Meet a member: Marni Huebner-Tiborsky

Name: Marni Huebner-Tiborsky.

Where I live: Richmond Heights, an east suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.

Where and when I was born: Bedford, Ohio, on March 21, 1973.

Family: Mark Tiborsky, 54, atheist spouse and staunch FFRF supporter.

Education: 1990 graduate of Mentor High School, Mentor, Ohio; 1992 graduate of Lakeland Community College with A.A. English major; and 1994 graduate of Lake Erie College with B.A. major in French/Italian.

Occupation: Coordinator, Worldwide Expense Reporting. I work in the finance department for a private equity firm and check almost all expense reports worldwide (U.S., Europe and Asia), making sure tax, internal and external coding and audit rules are followed. I also manage the Travel and Expense Reporting system and handle almost all back office administrative and helpdesk functions, training, etc.

How I got where I am today: Whew, this is a tough one. I think it's a matter of just gaining day-to-day experience, trying new things and just growing up, maturing and learning how to be better and do better, even in the face of adversity and sometimes just bad luck. I'm always learning, especially from my friends and peers. It's not always easy but I keep plugging away day to day!

Where I'm headed: Where I hope I'm headed is eventually running my own business teaching people about green smoothies and making raw vegan fruit desserts in an environmentally friendly store/food truck. I also would like to be a vegan menu planning consultant. On a far different note, I hope to eventually organize/host a freethought convention in Cleveland.

Person in history I admire and why: There are so many! I admire any freethinkers throughout history who have resisted the status quo no matter how frightening it was or how dangerous. Their willingness to put themselves on the front lines to create change is to be applauded. It is critical, especially with current events, that more freethinkers have the courage to come out to friends and family and publicly. The only way to change minds and end discrimination and ignorance is to get out in the open and educate!
A quotation I like: "The only constant is change" ­— Isaac Asimov.

These are a few of my favorite things: A secular, free society, green smoothies, coffee, my cats, being married to another atheist, the greatest friends in the world (you know who you are!), our social meetup group and our wonderful FFRF chapter.

These are not: My cats (yes, they are a blessing and a curse!), bad drivers, willful ignorance, entitlement mentality and tax-exempt churches.

My doubts about religion started: I have been an atheist as long as I can remember. Religion just never made sense to me. I was reared Methodist, but just didn't give it much thought, ever. The whole thing just seemed inane. I went to church and was active, but that was because of community, not religiosity.

Before I die: Wow, there's so many things! I want to visit every national park in an RV, and I want to own a completely modular, mobile tiny house (although I'd have to build another house for the kitties). I want to visit Farm Sanctuary in New York, Big Cat Rescue in Florida, and I want to get my husband to Europe. I would also like to be in New York City once for the Macy's parade and once for New Year's Eve. I'd also like to run a statewide Secular Community Center and own a very successful business.

Ways I promote freethought: In 2007, I founded and now co-organize with my husband a social group on meetup.com called The Cleveland Freethinkers, which has over 1,100 members and has had over 600 in-person meetups. In 2012, I founded the local FFRF chapter, Northern Ohio Freethought Society (NOFS), to be a local separation of state and church watchdog/activist group. Our chapter has already participated in several great community outreach campaigns and events. We are looking to become more involved with Foundation Beyond Belief and Secular Student Alliance. My husband and I are involved with the local chapter of Center for Inquiry and my husband is on the board. We have been peripherally involved with United Coalition of Reason and my husband coordinated the formation of the local Northeast Ohio Coalition of Reason. We are also involved with the local Sunday Assembly (husband's in the band!) and, of course, are heavily involved with FFRF. All of these groups we also promote through Facebook and Twitter and have a separate website for the NOFS chapter.